The Marion County High School baseball team donated $550 to the Good Samaritan Foundation recently, having raised the funds during its annual Breast Cancer Awareness Invitational on Mother’s Day weekend.
For head coach Patrick Campbell, the importance of the event extends well beyond merely making a donation.
“How do we teach the kids there’s more to it than just a ballgame? There’s more to it than throwing a baseball and catching a baseball,” he said. “People fight battles every day that we know nothing about.”
Campbell and his players presented the donation to representatives from the Good Samaritan Foundation Tuesday, May 14 during their home game against Nelson County.
This is the event’s sixth year, although several in the past have been altered due to weather. This year’s donation marks the largest amount the baseball team has raised, primarily from selling T-shirts.
“Baseball isn’t a high-revenue sport and we don’t always draw a huge crowd, but we do everything we can to make that weekend special. If we can raise over $500 to donate, that’s a good weekend for us,” Campbell said.
This year the event was also renamed the Lisa Caldwell Memorial Weekend; Caldwell was an MCPS employee and aunt to current baseball player Dawson McCarty.
“The majority of our players, they have some sort of a connection to someone who has fought cancer or who’s passed away from cancer,” Campbell said. “Even though we’re a small part of this world, we did our small little bit for our community. I think it’s a good thing and [the players] see that.”
The event also regularly recognizes local cancer survivors and those who are currently battling cancer.
Teams playing in the invitational also use pink, wooden bats in honor of breast cancer awareness.
“When the players see this type of turnout from the community, and the support, I think they understand that this means something,” Campbell said. “The abilities that we have, the gifts that we have to be able to go out and play a game is something we should never take for granted.”